Experiences of young parents with foster care backgrounds during the COVID-19 pandemic: Brief report
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unique challenges to parents of young children due to the closure of schools and childcare centers and increased caregiver burden. These challenges may be especially pronounced for youth with foster care backgrounds, as they often lack family supports and other critical safety nets. This multi-method qualitative study aimed to explore the unique experiences of parenting foster care alumni during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study included 26 young parents ages 18-26, who participated in in-depth interviews or Photovoice sessions between January and March 2021. A structured thematic analysis approach was used to examine youths` accounts. Findings indicated that young parents with foster care backgrounds faced significant challenges due to COVID-19, and often struggled to access critical resources and supports. Implications for policy and practice are discussed below.